The Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Drought Resilience (SQNNSW) Adoption and Innovation Hub opened their new Roma Node last week, aiming to introduce collaborative and innovative approaches to drought management.
The SQNNSW Hub, led by the University of Southern Queensland, is one of eight national hubs run under the multi-billion-dollar Future Drought Fund.
The new Roma shopfront was opened and launched by Federal Agricultural Minister and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud.
Director of the hub Professor John McVeigh said the Roma Node would ensure the continuation of drought-resilience research.
"The Hubs are about considering drought as not just a rainfall issue, but rather taking a holistic approach to landscape management, to supporting business and innovation, and the wellbeing of communities and people," Professor McVeigh said.
The shopfront will be manned by Southern Queensland (SQ) Landscapes, with CEO Paul McDonald saying they were excited about the chance to offer drought resilience services within the south west community.
"The Roma Node will be a place that locals can come to and seek advice and assistance in their work to drive healthy sustainable landscapes, businesses and ultimately communities," Mr McDonald said.
"With extensive experience in the region already and a network of professional knowledge to draw from in the areas of soil conservation, vegetation, water, biodiversity, weeds and pests; SQ Landscapes is ready to help land managers further develop their drought resilience and access funding and services to enable them to maximise opportunities through the Roma Node located at 21 Major Street in Roma.
"It's initiatives like this that really make a difference at the grass-roots level and we're certainly very excited to be part of a program that provides that much needed support and extension work that our land managers have been asking for."
Professor McVeigh said the Hub aimed to offer activities which encouraged innovative approaches to drought management.
"There are plenty of techniques and research outcomes already, that we have to continue to extend to our communities," he said.
"My generation has farmed differently to my parents and my grandparents, and so too will the next generation."
The Australian Government is investing $10 million in the Hub over four years, with an additional $10 million being contributed by Hub members and network partners, including SQ Landscapes.
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